North Country
6:30 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Bill Would Require New Utility Lines Along State Rights-of-Way

A North Country legislator is proposing a law that would require new electric utility lines to be located along existing highways.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

Rep. Larry Rappaport of Colebrook. Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR
Rep. Larry Rappaport of Colebrook. Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

If Rep. Larry Rappaport’s bill become law, utility companies would be required – as much as possible - to put new electric transmission lines alongside state rights-of-way such as highways.

Rappaport, of Colebrook, contends that would have two benefits.

“The roads are already there."

 It would also help the state with its budget problems.

“That will mean that the money which would be obtained by leasing or renting or whatever would accrue to the state of New Hampshire as opposed to private, for-profit companies.”

That could affect the Northern Pass project.

Under the current arrangement Hydro-Quebec would provide the electricity.

Then, it would pay Northern Pass to transmit it along a route Northern Pass developed through the state.

If the law passes Rappaport says Hydro-Quebec would pay tens of millions of dollars a year to New Hampshire and not Northern Pass.

For NHPR News this is Chris Jensen